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Chania

Chania

With a picturesque waterfront and relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere Crete is an ideal introduction to the islands of Greece. It offers an abundance of character and natural beauty with a local culture rich in customs, tradition and outstanding Greek cuisine.

Chania’s Old Town is overflowing with characterful accommodation, from basic pensions to renovated five-star Venetian mansions. Top of the heap, offering honeymoon-calibre luxury, is suite-format Casa Delfino (Theofánous 9). A few steps away, Porto del Colombo (Theofánous and Moschon) is easier on the wallet but almost equally sumptuous, with mock-medieval furniture. In the Halépa quarter, east of the walled town, Doma (Venizélou 124), a neo-classical manse that once served as a foreign consulate, offers an antique-studded wallow in nostalgia. Near the Orthodox Cathedral, Madame Bassia (Betólou 45-51) is an established budget favourite, with variably sized rooms housed in a tall, narrow 1890s mansion.

Old Chania has traditional workshops and modern boutiques for every taste. In Maherádika (the knife-makers’ quarter), get an inscribed, horn-handled dagger at Apostolos Pakhtikos (Sifáka 29). Tzangarakis (Sifáka 18) is Crete’s best copper antique outlet, crammed with reasonably priced objects not findable in the rest of Greece. Assorted leather goods – boots, sandals, handbags – line Skrydlóf Street. The last loom weaver in Crete claims to be Mihalis Manousakis, at Roka (Zambelíou 61), while the Centre of Traditional Folk Art and Culture (Skoufón 20, Evraïkí) specialises in top-notch embroidery. House of Amber (Kondyláki 13, Evraïkí) has ‘worry beads’ made of amber. Finally, the New Town’s covered market bulges with all manner of local foodstuffs, from stamnagáthi (spiny chicory) to apáki (cured streaky pork) by way of mountain cheeses and dried herbs.

Chania offers conventional Cretan eateries and more Mediterranean-fusion ones. Tear yourself away from the interconnecting Venetian harbours, as most establishments there offer poor value – except for inconspicuous Halkina (Aktí Tombázi 29-30), popular for titbits like marathópita (fennel pie), aubergine roulade and apáki (cured streaky pork). East of the Old Town in Halépa, Kalamoti (Venizélou 142) proves a dab hand at casserole dishes and seafood, plus excellent myzíthra cheese. West of the walls in Neahóra, Ouzythino (Aktí Papanikolí, fishing jetty) offers seaside dining without airs or graces and heaping portions of Sfakian sausages, stuffed peppers and courgette patties. Forego sea views at Tamam (Zambelíou 49, Evraïkí), famous for Middle Eastern fusion fare and atmospheric Turkish-bath setting.

Chania Carnival
February/March
Masquers, parades and parties take over the city during carnival season, with some top events also taking place in outlying villages on the nearby Akrotíri peninsula.


Blessing of Sheep
April
Takingplace on 23 April, or the Monday after Easter if that’s later, the Blessing of Sheep is the big event in Asigoniá, a pastoral village in the hills above Chania. All the flocks are milked (the result offered to spectators), blessed by the priest and re-belled as necessary.


Sampajana Jazz Festival
June
For four days in June, the Sampajana Jazz Festival plays host to not just jazz, but funk and ‘ethnic’ gigs too, in the Firka Bastion of the outer Venetian harbour. Past Greek stars have included Psarandonis and Haig Yazdjian.


Sardine Festival
September
Free grilled sardines at Neahóra Beach mark the end of the sardine season, with musical accompaniment.


Cultural Summer
July-September
The annual Cultural Summer sees municipally organised performances in a host of venues scattered across the Old and New Town; given the economic crisis, expect the programme to be sparser in future.

TIMETABLES

This is a Summer only destination

ESSENTIALS

Language
Greek
Currency
Euro
Time zone
GMT +1
Flight time
2 Hours 30
Holiday type
Beach , City Break , Summer Sun

WEATHER

22/10/14
Light rain shower
Light rain shower
19°C
min
27°C
max
23/10/14
Light rain shower
Light rain shower
16°C
min
25°C
max
24/10/14
Patchy rain possible
Patchy rain possible
17°C
min
21°C
max
25/10/14
Patchy rain possible
Patchy rain possible
15°C
min
21°C
max
26/10/14
Moderate or heavy rain shower
Moderate or heavy rain shower
15°C
min
17°C
max
27/10/14
Light rain shower
Light rain shower
14°C
min
17°C
max
28/10/14
Partly cloudy skies
Partly cloudy skies
15°C
min
19°C
max
Jan
14°C max
7°C min
Feb
15°C max
7°C min
Mar
17°C max
8°C min
Apr
20°C max
11°C min
May
25°C max
15°C min
Jun
29°C max
19°C min
Jul
31°C max
21°C min
Aug
31°C max
21°C min
Sep
28°C max
19°C min
Oct
24°C max
16°C min
Nov
20°C max
12°C min
Dec
16°C max
9°C min

AIRLINES

TODAY'S WEATHER

Light rain shower 27°C
19°C
min
27°C
max
66%
huimidity

Flights, Holidays & Hotels

Flights, Holidays & Hotels

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